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Home maintenance

Five benefits of good home maintenance

  • Identify small problems before they become big ones e.g. a leaky external tap may eventually cause foundation movement, damage to the building and attract termites
  • Save money by avoiding costly repair jobs
  • Reduce the risk of damage and defects
  • Maximise the comfort and functionality of your home
  • Maintain or increase the value of your asset.

Five risks of poor home maintenance

  • Repairs can be costly and time consuming – particularly if your house is uninhabitable
  • Insurance generally doesn’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance
  • Your contractor is not responsible for fixing damage caused by lack of maintenance
  • Defects or damage can make your home uncomfortable and unattractive
  • Poor maintenance can reduce the value of your asset.

Foundations, footings and slab

Minor cracking and movement are normal for most buildings. Depending on the soil type and location, building footings move with the soil water content.

To do:

  • Repair minor cracking as part of normal building maintenance
  • Maintain stable moisture conditions around the footings of your home
  • Generally trees should be planted at least 1-1½ times their mature height away from a building so their roots don’t interfere with the footings.

Roofs

We often receive complaints about roof leaks. In some cases this is due to defective building work, but often leaks are caused by lack of maintenance and cleaning.

To do:

  • Don’t let leaves and debris build up in gutters and downpipes
  • Repair cracked or broken tiles, guttering or flashing.

Landscaping and gardens

Landscaping can make a huge difference to the appearance and functionality of your home, however; it’s important to consider drainage and soil movement when making your garden plan.

If in doubt, check the building plans to ensure it will not affect site drainage or risk structural damage to your home.

To do:

  • Keep trees with high water demand well away from your home
  • Locate ponds and water features away from the building
  • Don’t over water the garden and avoid unregulated sprinkler systems
  • Ensure that ‘weep holes’ (the small ventilation hole between two bricks, near the ground) do not end up below soil level.

Hot water systems

A leaky hot water system presents a real risk of foundation movement, building damage and termite attack.

To do:

  • Get a copy of your tank’s manufacturer’s instructions and follow the recommended maintenance procedures
  • Occasionally check the operation of the pressure relief valve
  • Ensure discharged water does not go onto the ground near the footings.

Rainwater tanks

With mandatory water saving targets for new homes, and many more Queenslanders installing tanks on existing homes, rain water tanks must be considered as part of your home maintenance.

To do:

  • Regularly clean debris and insect screens on tanks and rainwater heads
  • Check for leaking pipe work.

Read the home maintenance fact sheet for more information.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
5/02/2014 11:50 AM

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